No-signature credit cards

Deref 24 March 2012 42

Paying for petrol this morning, I stuck my card in the reader and entered my PIN – “incorrect PIN” came the message, so I tried again and, again, got the same message.

“Just tap it, buddy” said the attendant (risking a stern finger-wagging for the use of that appalling American appellation). Mistaking my chagrin at his “buddy” for confusion, he took my card, tapped it on the top of the reader, and the transaction was confirmed.

I know about these “tap to pay” cards and, understanding what an incredible security risk they are, refused to have one. But obviously my ordinary card already has the embedded proximity chip. So here was a clear indication that I might be using a dodgy card, but neither the attendant nor the machine gave a flying feck.

Who thought <i>that</i> was a good idea? Can I disable this idiocy or am I stuck with it?


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42 Responses to No-signature credit cards
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Zack360 Zack360 10:33 pm 26 Mar 12

Yawn, cut up the card and line up to see a bank teller for cash if you can be bothered keeping track of where your card is at all times.

cantdance cantdance 9:13 pm 26 Mar 12

My card only permits under $35 transactions to go through. To be honest I am really not bothered about someone stealing my card and going nuts with $35 transactions, good luck to them my card is nearly maxed out anyway (on a very low limit).

I’m more concerned by the local school bus running me over in the morning.

Dilandach Dilandach 5:42 pm 26 Mar 12

c_c said :

I don’t agree with the people who fear this technology, but in fairness I will say the banks a bit behind the times too.

I don’t exactly ‘fear’ the technology. I do however understand the risks and abuses that have been going on with the rfid chips within the credit cards. There’s already been cases of people skimming by way of RFID readers. Sure, you get the money back eventually but the hassle of having to wait to get it back along with all the hoops you have to jump.

Banks aren’t loveable entities who take your word for it that you just had your money stolen by an electronic pick pocket. They do take the “Sure buddy, sure you didn’t spend it…” attitude. Worst case scenario is accounts being locked and having little to no access to your own money while an investigation is done, that’s what people fear the most.

But yes, it seems they’ve rushed out the ‘convenience’ of this tech in credit cards without really putting in security features that balance out the ease of it.

Deref Deref 5:13 pm 26 Mar 12

You’ve all shamed me. I now see the error of my ways. How could I ever have doubted the Good and Benevolent banking industry? I now understand that they hold all of my best interests uppermost in their hearts and that everything they do has the sole purpose of making my life easier, more rewarding, safer and more secure. Thank you.

And thanks, too, for teaching me that replacing Australian slang with American slang is a wonderful thing that can only break down the barriers of identity that separate us from our Great and Powerful Friends.

I’m much obligated to y’all. And now I’m gonna mosey on down t’ the drug store to get me a soda pop and some candy. So long, podners.

p1 p1 4:06 pm 26 Mar 12

Erg0 said :

quewastaken said :

Apparently you can wrap your card in tinfoil and it will prevent somebody walking past and skimming information. Don’t know how valid that is though.

Same applies to your brain, I hear.

Stops unscrupulous Reiki practitioners syphoning off your energy for use on horses too.

Keijidosha Keijidosha 4:01 pm 26 Mar 12
c_c c_c 4:01 pm 26 Mar 12

I don’t agree with the people who fear this technology, but in fairness I will say the banks a bit behind the times too.

Most of them still use older style 128bit encryption over the 256bit many commerce sites use. In fact the weakest link in financial security according to surveys isn’t the user, but wherever their details are handled, including banks, hospitals and educational institutions. Government agencies too are terrible with it. Some of the biggest breaches of security has been people getting into, or people accidentally leaking millions of records from government or bank systems.

I would also say though that the card system isn’t secured to it’s full potential. What about photos on bank/credit cards with holograms? What about finger print authentication? This isn’t way out technology anymore, my access ID has a photo and RFID. Public service has used photo+RFID cards for a decade or more.

Chop71 Chop71 3:56 pm 26 Mar 12

Don’t you hate it when the service station employee knows something that you obviously don’t

Erg0 Erg0 3:47 pm 26 Mar 12

quewastaken said :

Apparently you can wrap your card in tinfoil and it will prevent somebody walking past and skimming information. Don’t know how valid that is though.

Same applies to your brain, I hear.

quewastaken quewastaken 2:59 pm 26 Mar 12

I have a smartphone and online banking. The account my visa debit card is linked to (the only bankcard I have) never has more than about $20 in it. I’ve got a few bank accounts with the same bank, and my paycheck goes into one that can only be accessed by phone/internet banking. If I ever need to pay for something I just spend 30 seconds moving the money over before I get to a checkout/atm/eftpos machine. If someone ever does get a hold of my card or walks past with a scanner and gets my card info, they might be able to buy themselves some maccas before their spending spree ends.

I personally think it’s one of the worst ideas I’ve come across, but I have learnt to embrace my inner sloth and now use it regularly wherever it’s available.

Apparently you can wrap your card in tinfoil and it will prevent somebody walking past and skimming information. Don’t know how valid that is though.

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 7:49 pm 25 Mar 12

How is “iron-clad” an americanism?

Was clicking the link too hard for you, buddy? Or do you just think you know more than the chums at the OED, pal?

Note. When the question of protecting ships of war, etc., by iron or steel armour first aroused general attention (c1859), various terms were used to describe ships so protected […] iron-clad, occasionally used in England before, appears to have come into common use at first in the United States, during the Civil War, and established itself as the preferred term c1862–3, its adaptability as a substantive facilitating its general adoption. But its official use in England dates from c1866.

3. fig. (chiefly U.S.) Of an extremely strict or rigorous character; so framed as to be incapable of being evaded, as a regulation, agreement, etc.

ironclad oath: an oath characterized by the severity of its requirements and penalties; esp. applied to the rigorous oath required by the United States Government from certain official and other persons after the civil war of 1861–5. ( Cent. Dict.)

Suck it, cobber!

SupaSal SupaSal 6:51 pm 25 Mar 12

If you contact your card issuer you will find that the $30 transactions are only to the value of $100 per day – After this amount you need to either sign or put in your pin!

lobster lobster 3:21 pm 25 Mar 12

Sandman said :

I’m with the OP on this. I got a nasty shock the first time i put my eftpos card in a machine and it just approved it. I didn’t ask my bank for a Debit Mastercard either. I found it in a pile of mail that I had put down while walking through the garage and then rediscovered over 9 months later.

All cards now stay at home and I carry cash. Wouldn’t take long to empty my bank account with $30 transactions if I lost my card, and don’t the banks only cover the fraud occurring AFTER you’ve reported it stolen or lost?

Yes. I imagine that carrying around cash is far more secure than carrying around a card.

HenryBG HenryBG 3:10 pm 25 Mar 12

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

/lols at the berk* who thinks ‘buddy’ is an Americanism while using American English like ‘iron-clad’

*English enough for you, ‘mate’?

How is “iron-clad” an americanism?

As I understand it, the ironclad came out of the naval technology arms race between France and Britain, with the French building the first cuirassé in 1858, the British following up with one of their own in 1860.

I’m sure the Yanks try to take the credit for the technology, just as they have tried to do with the telephone, computer, flight, and all sorts of other technologies where they have a spurious revisionist history naming themselves as “first”.

rosscoact rosscoact 1:46 pm 25 Mar 12

dpm said :

I say we all go back to the convenience of cheque books, or as the Americans say, check books! They’re awesome!! Hahahaha!

What’s a cheque book?

dpm dpm 10:52 am 25 Mar 12

I say we all go back to the convenience of cheque books, or as the Americans say, check books! They’re awesome!! Hahahaha!

Watson Watson 10:49 am 25 Mar 12

I am assuming that you would be offered the same protection as for “normal” credit card transactions? I had someone pay over $1200 for various online car ads with my debit card details once. I had no problem at all getting that money back. I only noticed after it had been happening for a month, so only canceled my credit card then.

It didn’t put me off paying stuff over the phone with my card. There is obviously a significant risk, but I know the banks are willing to cover any losses, so I think it is a risk worth taking.

rosscoact rosscoact 8:32 am 25 Mar 12

poetix said :

rosscoact said :

Get rid of your cards, get a passbook, make friends with your local tellers, only carry cash, don’t buy anything online, simple really

Encourage your local mugger.

too true, but I thought the OP was scared of new school muggers so old school would be ok.

Hey I know, give up your job, grow veggies and barter everything. Who ever heard of a mugger robbing you of a zucchini?

dph dph 1:36 am 25 Mar 12

Op was embarrased because he needed assistance in using his credit card. Was overly offended at being called buddy by a petrol attendant. Decided to post a topic on the riot-act regarding modern technology & credit card security.

Henry82 Henry82 9:37 pm 24 Mar 12

As JB said, you don’t really get a choice. Anyway, it has to be close to the reading device, and it can only be used with certain businesses (which seem to all have security cameras). With a maximum limit, the risk is low enough that the credit card companies aren’t too worried.

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